Prime Time has arrived! Deion Sanders, aka Prime Time, took the sidelines for the first game of his much-hyped tenure at the University of Colorado, and needless to say, expectations exceeded the hype. Sanders Buffaloes, quarterbacked by his son Shedeur Sanders, came in as 21-point underdogs to the TCU Horned Frogs but shocked the National runner up 45-42 to begin Sanders coaching career.
It has been a wild first year for Sanders at Colorado. The Pro Football Hall Of Famer took over a 1-11 Colorado squad and proceeded to gut the roster. The Buffaloes returned just ten scholarship players from last season, as Sanders brought in 68 new scholarship players.
This is certainly unprecedented in college football history, and the program was forecasted to have only modest success if that, this season. Instead, Prime Time has molded a squad in his image, and the results were thrilling, at least for week one.
Sanders, as always, was outspoken after the game. He said: “We’re going to continuously be questioned because we do things that have never been done. We do things that have never been done and that makes people uncomfortable.”
Indeed, remaking an entire roster in one offseason has never been done. To mold the team into an exciting, instant winner is the stuff of cinema. However, Sanders has always had a flair for the dramatic. Deion was one of the first two-sport stars and the only person ever to hit a home run in the MLB and score an NFL touchdown in the same week.
Naturally, Sanders’ team is as exciting to watch as their coach was. Even though the defense was clearly behind the offense, they gave up 541 yards of total offense; the first-year head coach was able to generate plenty of offense of their own and will the defense to one key stop to win the game. He said: “They surrendered some big plays throughout the game, and all we kept teaching was, ‘One stop. One stop.’”
With Colorado up by three late, the Buffs got that one stop on TCU to earn the win. Though the team was huge underdogs, their coach has instilled in them the belief that they could win on any given Saturday, and in the spotlight against TCU, the stage was anything but too big.
Key to the victory was the play of Deion Sanders’s son, Shedeur. The quarterback is a transfer from an HBCU and generated an unheard-of stat line of 38 of 47 passing for 510 yards and four touchdowns. Sanders said about his son: “We had some guys that singled themselves out with their playing and their playing ability. A lot of guys you doubted — one of them from an HBCU — I think he had 510 yards passing in a Power 5 football game. And he happens to be my son, and I’m proud of him, tremendously.”
Another statistical anomaly and unreal performance was by Travis Hunter, another Jackson State transfer. Hunter, a former 5-star recruit, became the first Division 1 player in the last twenty years to have an interception on defense and a 100-yard receiving game on offense. Players rarely play both ways, yet Hunter played an absurd 129 snaps. After the game, he said: “Football is football no matter who’s playing. You got to go out there and dominate whoever’s in their way. I went out there and dominated. A lot of people doubted me because I rated myself as No. 1 on the Heisman watch list. Now people are praising me. They didn’t know what I could do. They’ve finally seen what I’ve seen, my vision and the coaches’ vision for me.”
Deion Sanders spent his professional career as a leader, and now, as a coach, he is displaying those same traits. He concluded: “These young men in there right now, they believe. Not all of them believed before. But right now, they came up one by one, two by two, and said, ‘Coach, we believe.’ Now they believe. Now Boulder believes, people in the front office, people in the building, the fans, the students, now everybody wants to believe. I’m good with that. We got room.”
There had better be room on the Colorado Buffalo bandwagon because, at least for now, people are going to be spraining ankles to jump on board. With Prime Time at the helm, the future of Colorado Buffalo football is sure to be an exciting one.
Featured image screen grab from embedded YouTube video
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